Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Christmas Blog Gift For You From The Power Pop Lover's Blog

One of the great things about having this yuleblog is that you learn something new everyday. In this instance, I've discovered several things concerning the comp before you.

The first is the true definition of the term "power pop". In a 1967 interview, Pete Townsend of The Who was quoted as saying "Power pop is what we play."

To quote a definition of power pop:

"Drawing its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock music, power pop is characterized by strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements and prominent guitar riffs.

"Instrumental solos are kept to a minimum, and blues elements are largely downplayed. Recordings tend to display production values that lean toward compression and a forceful drum beat, most often in a dance vein.

"Instruments usually include one or more electric guitars, electric bass guitar, a drum kit, and perhaps electric keyboards or synthesizers."

The second thing I learned is there is a wide admiration society for all things power pop. A Technorati search of blogs incorporated the term turned up 61 blogs devoted to its music. Such is the case at the aptly named "Power Pop Lover's Blog" from where this comp came from.

These clever lads have been devoted to their blog and the cause of spreading great power pop music to the world since June, 2006. Chock full of information, links, and, most importantly, music, you can easily blow off a great part of your day reading past blog entries and perusing over the playlists for many a comp.

Back in late November of last year, this special Christmas comp was posted but I never discovered it until early January. I found it in a December post relinking to the original November post and thankfully the links were still active.

This brings me to the final thing I learned about this comp. To their credit, the Power Pop guys have kept all of their links up to date - meaning that this is STILL available to download!

Click on the links above but heed the warning they left:

"It just occurred to me I wrongly numbered song #11 (Mike Viola) within the RAR archive - so even though it is named [10] Mike Viola - Give Me...all you have to do is to rename the file [11] Mike Viola - Give Me...Sorry"

Sadly, I didn't send any of the Power Pop team the standard set of questions I've asked everyone here whose comp is being reviewed. Take me to the music then...


(Click on image to enlarge)

1.) Cheap Trick... now that's the way to open a comp! A reworking of their hit "Come On, Come On", this was first released on a rare Rockford, IL charity comp - anyone have a copy?
2.) I was an active Chicago concertgoer in the early 1990s. I saw Liz Phair, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Urge Overkill all before they hit it big. I also saw Material Issue... blew the others away completely. This was taken from a rare comp called "Yuletunes" - I finally posted my fire-scarred cover at Amazon!
3.) Nice sound! Swag released this on a Nashville pop compilation (of all places) in 1998 - very last track of the CD! I never knew this existed... thank you Power Pop guys!
4.) The Andersons are singing (quite well too) about what everyone else wants for Christmas... get in line! If that Robert Anderson looks vaguely familiar, that's because he's Robbie Rist - cousin Oliver from "The Brady Bunch"!
5.) Now that you mention it... "I Want An Alien For Christmas" is a power pop song. This song is wearing on me - heard it way too much over the past 1 1/2 months.
6.) Great stuff! Farrah first offered this at Christmas, 2005 as an exclusive MP3 at their website - it's still available to get - scroll down to the 22/12/05 entry and click!
7.) Very Beatlesque sounding song - good! Off Stratocruiser's 2006 "Revolutions" CD, I might have to add this to the wish list!
8.) WOW! Life after the Smithereens! Jim Babjak has a solid Christmas song here - click on that last link to see all of Babjak's holiday output! This might make my annual Christmas comp!
9.) Damn, this is great! Dom Marini has crafted a very Lennonesque Christmas song! Find this one on the "Hi-Fi Christmas Party" comp.
10.) Power pop cover of "The Little Drummer Boy"! Also on the "Hi-Fi Christmas Party" comp (see link above) - added it to my wish list.
11.) A fantastic track from a extremely rare Christmas EP from Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers. Very surprised that had a listing!
12.) Trippy song from Cliff Hillis. For the completists out there, this is from the "It's About Christmas" comp.
13.) WOW! Haven't heard this one is ages! One of the standout tracks on the "Yuletunes" CD (see #2 above).
14.) GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS!!! The Spongetones are true devotees of the Beatles - check out them record covers! And they released a FULL Christmas CD entitled "Mersey Christmas"... this song blew me away!
15.) Whoa! A Phil Spector sound alike song by Lisa Mychols! Her "Lost Winter's Dream" was first issued in 1991, then reissued in 2004. Anyone have a copy of the original?
16.) Barely Pink has a dynamite cover of The Kinks' "Father Christmas"... just wish I knew what comp it came from! (pssst... click on that website link and read their Thursday 12.23.04 entry - three FREE Christmas MP3s for the asking!)
17.) Australian power pop! Chris Klondike Masuak's superb Christmas song. If you can find a comp called "Rockin' Bethlehem" (, you'll find this song.
18.) Very funny, cynical, and brilliantly sounding power pop song from the "Wild Man Of Wivenhoe" himself!
19.) Syd Straw's famous reworking of the Blondie song. On the great "Christmas Time" CD by Chris Stamey and Friends.
20.) Wonderful tune by The Rooks! Their discography tells us this was released as a radio only single in 1993, then a new mix (this one) with added instruments was on their "Chimes EP" (1995), only to have the original mix as part of their larger, more accessible "Encore Echoes" CD (2000).
21.) This one's got that Jeff Lynne / George Harrison feel - WOW! From a two-track OOP Christmas EP.
22.) Rockin' tune (power pop indeed!) easily found on the classic 1991 Christmas comp "A Lump Of Coal".
23.) The Beatle effect is all over this (think "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Rocky Racoon"). The final track off their strangely titled "Mothman & Other Twisted Tales".
24.) Amazing cover of "O Come All Ye Faithful" from Jeffrey Foskett! Want power pop proof? Click on the link and check out that picture of Jeff with Sir Paul!
25.) "Joy To The World" to the tune of "Please Please Me" - no kidding! If you're looking for great Christmas with a Beatles spin, get both of their Christmas CDs - "Christmas With" and "Have Yourself A FAB-ulous Christmas"!

This is indeed a power packed Christmas comp! I'm quite surprised at the amount of songs on this disc that I had forgotten about - this was perfect timing! I needed something to (pardon the phrase) get back to where I first belonged.

Lots of new stuff on here as well - always fabulous! The Spongetones, Lisa Mychols, Jim Babjak, Barely Pink were all definite winners in my book. Lots of great power pop sound!

As I said at the very beginning, I learn something new everyday here at the yuleblog. That's in large part to PowerPopLover, ApolloC, Popcat, Josega65, and Antidoto PoP. Thanks for a dazzling comp guys! Top notch from A to Z! And thanks for putting it together and sharing your work with all of us!

UP NEXT: NCM Illegal Christmas Compilation 2005



stubbysfears said...

This was one of my favorite on-line comps of 2006 (my favorite, though from 2005, was the one slated for your review tomorrow).

But, Captain, I am shocked--SHOCKED--that you do not own "Hi Fi Christmas Party." I think it is a MUST HAVE for every Christmas music collector, at least as indispensible as "Yuletunes." It's a charity comp and every track is a winner (even has the Lisa Mychols track from the Power Pop comp).

And don't forget to pick up Vol. 2, while you're at it. (I admit I haven't listened to that one, yet, though I bought it instantly. It was a late release in 2006. I'm currently cataloguing my stuff and haven't gotten to "H" yet).

CaptainOT said...

Stubby - Thanks for the tips. I'll probably break down and get "Hi-Fi Christmas Party" real soon.

Dragged out "Yuletunes" again. What a disc! I can only hope my fire-damaged copy of it can hold on until I find another copy.


clay said...

thanks for the kind words about "Last Christmas Girl"
We recorded another Christmas song this past year- love to send it to you.

Clay Howard